NASA has released images of an M-class flare on the Sun taken by its Solar Dynamics Observatory. Solar flares are bursts of energy released from the surface of the Sun, in which charged particles like electrons and ions, as well as neutral atoms, are expelled. These flares are energetic enough that the particles are able to zip across the approximately 150 million kilometers from the Sun to the Earth in just a couple of days. M-class flares are mid-level in intensity—the highest are X-class—and are not directly harmful to life on the surface of the Earth. These flares can, however, disrupt satellites in Earth orbit.
This particular flare occurred on April 2nd.